International Borders Are About To Open Research Shows

For those returning to Australia with 80% vaccination rates, Australia’s international borders will reopen next month. Permanent residents and Australian citizens who have been fully vaccinate will be allow to quarantine in Australia. They will be allow to leave Australia from early November without being exempt. However, this does not end the misery of Australians who left behind by the pandemic.

This group was affect by the pandemic. We are following their experiences. We have been tracking the experience of this group during the pandemic. Our research has shown that not only is government support inadequate, but also some of the long-term and immediate impacts on their lives. We also discuss some of the barriers that make it so difficult to return to Australia.

Are People Left Strand International Than You Think?

To stop the spread COVID, Australia closed its borders to non-citizens in March 2020. It also gave up some of its most stringent border regulations. Although Australian citizens can still travel to Australia legally, many cannot return home due to the drastic reduction in flights available.

The Department of Foreign Affairs reports that there are more than 45,000 Australians living overseas who need assistance to return home

Reconnect Australia, an advocacy group, believes that the number could be higher. This number is based upon an estimated one million Australians who live abroad, 30% of Australians who were born overseas and two millions temporary visa holders in Australia. Most of these people would not be eligible to receive DFAT reparations or fall under a travel exemption.

Financial And Psychological International Impacts

Many stories of distressing tales from stranded travelers who had their flights delayed or cancelled over the past 18-months have been shared in mainstream media and on social media. People have been forced to miss funerals, separated from their children and partners, and are unable or unwilling to visit sick relatives.

We examine the financial and psychological effects of being strand abroad during the pandemic to better understand this phenomenon.

We surveyed 1,330 stranded travelers from all over the globe (including Australia) in September and found that 64% of them had severe to moderate depression. Others reported stress (58%), anxiety (42%), and both. Some participants reported being homeless or in financial distress and receiving little support from their governments.

Support From The Government For People Who Stuck Overseas

These stranded travelers are generally assist by their home governments. Pippa McDermid will lead a study that examines the availability of government aid, including financial assistance and mental health support, to those citizens who have left behind by COVID restrictions. This includes Australia and New Zealand, Canada as well as the United States, United Kingdom of France, Thailand, and the United States.

None of the countries provided complete assistance in all areas. France and Spain the only countries to have found a solution for citizens in crisis who stuck abroad. Spanish or French nationals can either host citizens or request emergency accommodation through their respective platforms.

Australia was one six countries that provided some type of mental health support for citizens. It was also one among five that offered financial assistance. However, loan applications could complicate and funds had to repaid within six months. France and other countries were more flexible in providing financial assistance.

Based on standard readability scores, Australia’s website was judge fairly difficult-to-difficult in terms of clarity. This was lower than the scores for Canada, France, and the UK.